Davis Closes Jr. Girls PGA with 67, Wins by 7; McCauley Ties for 14th
July 30, 2021
LOUISVILLE -- Anna Davis, the 15-year-old sophomore to be from Spring Valley, Calif., had a two-shot lead when the final round of the Girls Junior PGA Championship began on Friday. She proceeded to run off three consecutive birdies on the front nine at Valhalla Golf Club and made the turn at 4 under. After that, it was more a coronation than a competition.
She made two more birdies on the back nine, and kept her scorecard bogey-free for the day. The result was a 6-under 67, which gave her a 72-hole total of 277 (15 under) -- and a seven-stroke victory.
Julia Misemer, a three-time Kansas state high school champion with her senior year still to come, closed with a 72 and finished alone in second place at 284. Megha Ganne, who capped off her junior year of high school in New Jersey this spring by contending for the U.S. Women's Open title for three and a half rounds (she ended up in a tie for 14th), was another shot back in third, at 285, after a 70.
Yana Wilson shot 68 and claimed fourth place at 286.
Bella McCauley, 17, who won both the Minnesota state high school and MGA Girls Junior titles in 2020, suffered through a disastrous front-nine 45, which took her out of the top 15, but she battled back on the incoming nine with five birdies -- plus two bogeys -- for a 78. That put her four-day total at 290, which earned her a tie for 14th.
Minnesota's other entrant, Kathryn VanArragon, the 2019 state high school champ and winner of the 2020 Women's State Amateur, shot 75. She ended up at 302 and in a tie for 45th.
McCauley shot 69 on Thursday and was tied for second, only two strokes behind Davis going into the final round. But she made a double bogey at the par-5 second hole, bogeyed the third and fourth and made another double at the par-5 sixth. The front nine at Valhalla had three par-5's for this tournament, and McCauley played them in 5 over on Friday. Had she played them in even par, as she did in the third round, she would have tied her friend Ganne for third. Or in 1 under, as she did in the first two rounds, she would have tied Misemer for second.
As it was, she made the two doubles, plus four bogeys going out. But she birdied the par-5 10th (she had eagled it on Thursday). McCauley then bogeyed the par-3 11th, birdied the 12th and bogeyed the 13th. She made the fourth of her five pars Friday at the 14th, but finished off her round with birdies at the par-4 15th and 16th holes and the par-5 18th -- for a back nine of 3-under 33.
Davis pretty much locked up first place with her birdies at the fourth, fifth and sixth holes on Friday, but she added birdie at the ninth. She made her 24th birdie of the week at the 380-yard, par-4 15th and capped off her victory with birdie No. 25 at the 490-yard, par-5 18th.
2021 Girls Junior PGA Championship
At Valhalla Golf Club
1. Anna Davis, Spring Valley, Calif. 69-68-73-67--277
3. Julia Misemer, Overland Park, Kansas 70-74-68-72--284
3. Megha Ganne, Holmdel, N.J. 71-70-74-70--285
4. Yana Wilson, Henderson, Nevada 73-74-71-68--286
T5. Jacqueline Putrino, Lakewood Ranch, Fla. 75-66-74-72--287
T5. Kendall Todd, Goodyear, Arizona 76-72-72-67--287
T5. Zoe Antoinette Campos, Valencia, Calif. 71-73-72-71--287
T5. Rianne Mikhaela Malixi, Philippines 73-73-70-71--287
T14. Bella McCauley, Inver Grove Heights 68-75-69-78--290
T45. Kathryn VanArragon, Blaine 77-76-74-75--302